The Student Association Programming Board’s annual spring concert, this year, left many audience members scratching their heads as to why it was held at all. Only two out of the five bands were even worth waiting for in the long line outside the Campus Center Arena.
The opening act of the night was up-and-coming California band Drive A. The music was irritatingly loud and didn’t have any substance. It seemed that Drive A thought that saying the f-bomb over and over would make people think they were older than they looked.
The next band on the line-up, Madina Lake, was a definite improvement. The Chicago-based band made sure that everyone was having a good time, and their music certainly helped out. Even though it was hard to hear lyrics in the arena, from what could be picked up, Madina Lake was definitely more mature than the previous band.
Following Madina Lake was the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, which was disappointing overall. Lacking in energy, it seemed they were not interested in performing at all from the second they hit the stage. Although they did play their two hits, "Face Down" and "Your Guardian Angel," that even could not redeem the band.
The best performer of the evening was by far Secondhand Serenade. John Vesely and company kept the audience going with their beautiful songs about love and relationships. Even though the music was more mellow than the previous bands, Secondhand Serenade was able to engage the audience more. They even did a cover of Coldplay’s "Fix You," helping audience members who were new to the Secondhand Serenade have moments to sing along.
Last but not least came the most anticipated act of the night, N*E*R*D. After much speculation of whether or not the band would play, they came on stage in total rock-star style. Lead singer/rapper Pharrell Williams surprised everyone by inviting audience members on stage, since, as they informed the audience, Oswego State would not allow them to crowd surf. This certainly made their set interesting to watch. N*E*R*D had a somewhat-strong set, yet it was more entertaining to see what the band would do, rather than what music they were performing. In the end, N*E*R*D’s performance did not match the high-and-mighty attitude of Pharrell.
A pleasant surprise was MC Mr. Napkins, a comedy rapper who helped fill in time between set changes. Even though his raps were completely silly, it brought some laughter to what was an overall dull night.